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Synopsis

The exhibition Iconografia de Massa, held at the Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial (ESDI) in Rio de Janeiro (1968), was introduced by art critic Mário Barata. Using the theories of Edgar Morin as his starting point, Barata defends the idea that the creativity problem in contemporary culture no longer revolves around an open opposition between mass and elite culture. In his opinion, it rather operates based on the concept of a “third culture.” Barata believes that this exhibition explores paths that lead to a “certain type of origin or source of artistic perceptions and their focus on visual or manipulable works.” Moving on from that observation, Barata notices how artists make use of the world of mass media; undoubtedly, what they are doing is reconstructing reality. His criticism even proposes a semiotic reading of the visual arts, whose new manifestations are leading him to a full reconsideration of the function of art.

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Synopsis

O crítico Mario Barata comenta a exposição "Iconografia de Massa", realizada na Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial (ESDI), no Rio de Janeiro, em 1968, com curadoria de Frederico Morais. Valendo-se do teórico Edgar Morin, Morais defende a idéia de que o problema da criatividade na cultura contemporânea não pode mais ser visto a partir da oposição entre cultura de massa e cultura de elite, mas através do conceito de "terceira cultura". Segundo o autor, a mostra em questão explora caminhos em torno de "certo tipo de origem ou fonte das percepções artísticas e de sua centralização em obras visuais e/ou manipuláveis". Por conta disso, Barata observa como os artistas se valem do mundo dos mass media e refazem a noção de realidade. O crítico esboça ainda uma leitura semiotica das artes visuais, que o remete a considerar a função da arte.

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Annotations

Curated by Frederico Morais, the exhibition O artista brasileiro e a iconografia de massa opened on April 18, 1968, at the Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial in Rio de Janeiro. The works selected develop diverse themes including popular music, television, the police, politics, and sports. The exhibition was fortified by an array of lectures: by the theater director José Celso Martinez Corrêa, the filmmaker Cacá Diegues, and the journalist Fernando Gabeira (before he went into exile), among others. Morais highlighted the following artists: Maurício Nogueira Lima, Nelson Leirner, Marcello Nitsche, Geraldo de Barros, Cláudio Tozzi, Rubens Gerchman, Maria do Carmo Secco, Antonio Dias, Glauco Rodrigues, Carlos Vergara, Hélio Oiticica, and Antonio Manuel.
This exhibition was presented in the pivotal year of 1968, only months before the government of the military coup d’état would decree Institutional Order No. 5 (AI-5), repealing all the rights of Brazilian citizens. During the subsequent years, Morais underwent an evident change of outlook. In the early 1970s, the work he was doing for the Museu de Arte Moderna-Rio made him optimistic. This was a series called Domingos da criação (see “O público: o exercício da liberdade” at the ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 1110476)]. By the 1980s, two decades after the imposition of the dictatorship, Morais was taking positions that were much more pessimistic. The theory underlying his analysis of art in the 1980s had more to do with public acceptance. That was when he started defending the use of more traditional materials by this generation, which carried on a debate through its painting, as seen in “Contra a arte culta. A liderança dos ‘velhos’. O público de volta” (doc. no. 1110553).

Frederico [de] Morais (b. 1936) is one of the outstanding personalities among art critics in Brazil. As a journalist, he worked as an art critic for many years for Diário de Notícias and O Globo. He was one of the most active “committed” critics in the 1960s and 1970s, supporting various avant-garde movements and exhibitions during that period as well as serving as a curator for some of the exhibitions.

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Annotations

Frederico Morais atua no meio de arte brasileiro desde a década de 60 como crítico e curador. Teve significativa importância nas décadas de 60 e 70, ao apoiar os movimentos de vanguarda do período e produzir uma crítica atuante. Nos anos 80 irá rever algumas de suas posições e apoiará a emergência da "Geração 80". Com curadoria de Frederico Morais, a mostra "O artista brasileiro e a iconografia de massa" foi inaugurada no dia 18 de abril de 1968, na Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial (Rio de Janeiro). Os trabalhos abordavam temas como música popular, televisão, polícia, política, esporte, etc. A mostra contou com conferências de José Celso Martinez Corrêa, Cacá Diegues e Fernado Gabeira, entre outros. Dos artistas participantes, destacam-se Maurício Nogueira Lima, Nelson Leirner, Marcelo Nitsche, Geraldo de Barros, Cláudio Tozzi, Rubens Gerchman, Maria do Carmo Secco, Antonio Dias, Glauco Rodrigues, Carlos Vergara, Helio Oiticica e Antonio Manuel.

 

Ver também:

GERCHMAN,Rubens. Gerchman, o artista que testemunha e se faz presente. GAM, n. 7, 1967, p. 10-13.

 

c- A vanguarda nos anos 60: Mostras e Artistas

c- Apropriações. Entrecruza/o de culturas: cult popular e cult erudita; cult artística e indústria cultural; cult rural, cult urbana, cult suburbana

c- Particularidades da vanguarda no Brasil nos anos 60: abordagens do realismo e consciência da realidade brasileira

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Researcher
Equipe Brasil: Guilherme Bueno
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Credit
Courtesy of Frederico G. de Morais, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Location
Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage